I have two back teeth with fillings that have been hurting me for a while. When the pain got to the point of distraction, I broke down and went to the dentist. He said the teeth are infected and will need to be extracted. I’m really feeling awkward about missing teeth. I know they are in the back, but I feel sort of like I’ll turn into a hillbilly or something. Are there consequences to this? Do I have any other options?
I am glad you wrote. Your dentist is under a legal obligation to give you all of your treatment options. I am surprised that he only gave you the possibility of extraction. Is it possible you are on government insurance? That could be an explanation. On government-funded insurance, you aren’t really given an option. They tell you what treatment you can have, unless you want to pay out of pocket.
Options for a Tooth Infection
Your best option in this case, is to get a root canal treatment. This will remove the infected pulp, while still saving your tooth. It is always better to have natural tooth structure. Without that, you have to replace the teeth. If you don’t replace them, the adjacent teeth will begin to shift into the empty spots. This will throw off your bite, but it could also lead to painful TMJ Disorder.
Any tooth replacement will keep the teeth in place. However, you will begin losing some bone structure where those teeth were if you do not have prosthetic roots placed there with dental implants. However, those are very expensive.
The first priority is to try and save the teeth, if possible, with a root canal. The faster you deal with a tooth infection the better. This will also save you the money of getting tooth replacements.
This blog is brought to you by Glenpool Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.